Friday, January 05, 2007

K's food haunts #2

One thing that I've been meaning to do with this blog is to be able to show other people the food places that we know of, in the hopes that maybe it might inspire others to maybe get a bit adventurous as well and try out unknown and untested restaurants. Also, I wanted to show others eating habits that they may or may not be familiar with. Maybe we'll all get a good laugh out of it. However, before we start touring fancy places and all that, let's go back to our roots a little bit.

Enter, the Jollijeep.

To those unfamiliar with the Philippines, Jollijeep is a coloquial name for a type of roadside eatery. It's derived from putting together the word "Jollibee", a local fastfood chain which has been popular since the early 80's (also one of the first words that infants learn), and "jeepney", one of the local forms of transportation. Both are also words that are associated with the masses.

Personally, I absolutely LOVE jollijeeps. I'm picky with which jollijeeps I eat at, but I firmly believe that they are there to make the average yuppie's life easier. For one thing, jollijeeps are normally found scattered in posh areas where the average meal of rice, a viand and a drink can cost you anywhere from 100 to 200 pesos (about US$4. 50 pesos = US$1). However, at the Jollijeep, you can get a full meal with a drink for less than 40 pesos. If you're really hungry, then your 100 pesos is bound to go a long way.

There's a catch, though, as the jollijeep is not for the squeamish or the prissy. Here, you eat standing up. You finish your meal quickly, make way for the next hungry person and go on your way. There are also no dishes. Instead, you make do with paper plates and plastic utensils, or plastic plates that are covered by plastic bags, or basically anything which helps keep the required dish-washing to a bare minimum. Also, as with most jollijeeps (though not all) servings of rice and viands are already measured out and bagged, so if you wanted two cups of rice and a viand, the lady will then just simply toss you the required eating implements, a plastic bag containing your viand which you have selected from a pile of various other food stuffs, and two plastic bags containing a cup of rice each. It's then up to you to break open the bags, get on with your meal and toss away your trash afterwards.

Bags of food and bagged plates.

Now, that's all how lunch goes. IF you happen to pass by in the afternoon, instead of rice and viands you'll instead find popular afternoon snacks such as the turon (banana with sweetened jackfruit, wrapped in egg wrapper, dipped in brown sugar and deep fried), banana-cue (fried banana with brown sugar on a stick), local rice cakes, congee or noodles.

One of my favorite local snacks, the turon!!

It may sound unpleasant, but it's actually nicer than one might think. In fact, me and my boyfriend often eat at these places (especially when we're broke. Haha!) since the food is good. Also, these little roadside eateries tend to blur the distinction between classes as everyone eats there, from people in suits who happen to work at the office building accross the street, to gas attendants and security guards from the nearby establishments.

Again, jollijeeps are the saviors of the hungry and the broke. Amen.

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